South Beach and Tampa

Getting there: Air Canada on points, rented a car for the day to get to Tampa via the Everglades (amazing!)

Where we stayed: South Beach – A 1-bedroom condo on 15th and Washington. Great location, well appointed, attentive owner. Tampa – family.

Fun: This was our first trip to SoBe in at least 3 years, so it was all about exploring our favourite haunts and just hanging out. We did a tonne of shopping since the sales were so good (we were there just before Christmas). We drove through the Everglades seeing a whole lot of alligators along the way to Tampa. The drive was a bit long, but the scenery was outstanding – a highway right through a giant swamp – what’s not to love?

Tips:  1. We didn’t need a car in SoBe, so we just rented one for our drive to Tampa, which was cheaper than any other option, plus we wanted to drive through the Everglades. 2. Gyms seem hard to come by if you’re not a hotel guest here. We managed to get a guest pass at one gym for free, and at another we paid cash to access the facilities. And well, hey, the beach also works nicely in place of a gym! 3. Taco Rico has, hands down, the best Mexican food I’ve had in the US, but be prepared for barebones decor – it’s all about the food here!

Email diary:

December 23, 2011: Xmas 2011 diaries

Hey Everyone:

Hope you’re having a good week before Xmas….and hello from sunny Florida!

We’ve nearly been here a week and it’s been some good downtime! From when we arrived until yesterday morning we were in Miami Beach, in a little condo that we rented in the heart of South Beach. Couldn’t beat the location, that’s for sure – 5 min to good restos, the beach, and the main shopping strip. Being Florida, we were greeted by one of the world’s largest roaches scampering across the condo’s floor late Friday night …. after that, things were pretty good! In South Beach the routine was pretty much this: sleep, eat, workout, eat some more, hit the beach, sleep there some more, eat, do some shopping, eat again, and repeat. A really good routine if you ask me :o) Yesterday we picked up a rental car and drove across Florida on Tamiami Trail through the Everglades….can you see the giant gator sunning himself in the pic? We drove by quite a few of them hanging out on the banks of the swamp alongside the highway! We got in to Tampa in the evening yesterday and are staying here with Dave’s uncle and aunt. Today we did some shopping and went to Clearwater beach around sunset – the sand is so fine and white. Tomorrow we’ll be doing some more touring, probably on Saturday too, and we’re off to Chicago on Xmas day.

Just wanted to let you all know how things are going. Amazing weather and it’s funny to see all kinds of blow up snowmen and Xmas characters on peoples’ lawns down here. Poor Santa looked like he was roasting at the outdoor mall today!

talk to you soon!
dpr and d2



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